Ryanair says pilots have agreed to 20% pay cut

Ryanair’s UK and Ireland pilots have accepted a 20% reduction in pay which will be restored within the next four years. The news of a pay reduction agreement between Ryanair and its pilots comes on the same day as Ryanair’s traffic report for June revealed a 97% decrease in passengers.

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 registered EI-DAX Photo by Karam Sodhi | AeroNewsX

The European carrier welcomed the news that pilots in the UK and Ireland had accepted the airline’s proposals. In addition to pay being cut by 20%, there will also be “productivity improvements on rosters, flexible working patterns and annual leave.” Ryanair says the deal reached with its pilots will minimise job losses.

The Irish airline was pleased to express that the agreement “demonstrates that Ryanair pilots are willing to work with the company during the COVID-19 crisis where Ryanair will carry 50% less traffic, at significantly lower fares for the foreseeable future.” The airline also reassured customers today that they are still processing passenger refunds but hope to have “all of May and most of June cash refunds” processed by the end of this month.

In a statement, the European low-cost airline said, “This agreement gives Ryanair a framework to flex its operation during the COVID-19 crisis and a pathway to recovery when the business returns to normal in the years ahead.” Ryanair has also signed an agreement with their Irish-based cabin crew for pay cuts of up to 10% which will be restored within four years. Fórsa, which represents the cabin crew in Ireland, is currently undertaking a ballot with its members on the airline’s proposals.

The CEO of Ryanair, Eddie Wilson, said he welcomed "this week’s result that 96% of BALPA members have voted in favour of a 4-year agreement on 20% pay cuts and productivity improvements on rosters and flexible working patterns to save the maximum number of UK Pilot jobs. The strength of this vote demonstrates the commitment from our pilots in the UK to work with Ryanair as we work our way through this crisis over the next number of years.”

While negotiations with Ryanair’s cabin crew are still ongoing, the airline has revealed its passenger figures for the month of June. At the beginning of the summer season last year the airline group flew around 14.2 million passengers. However, this year has been a challenging one for all airlines, including Ryanair. The Irish airline outlined in its monthly traffic report that they flew approximately 400,000 passengers in June 2020, which is a 97% reduction in comparison to the same month last year. Ryanair, who usually operate 2,400 flights a day, only operated 2,800 flights for the whole month of June adding that 95% of these arrived on time.

The low-cost carrier recently resumed flight operations from Wednesday, July 1st, operating 1,000 daily flights. Commenting on the resumption of more passenger flights, Ryanair Group CEO, Michael O’Leary said: “We expect in July to carry more than 4.5 million customers, many of them families taking well-earned Mediterranean holidays after the severe challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown.”

Mr O’Leary added that “these 1,000 daily flights mark an important turning point for Ryanair and for the tourism industry of Europe, which supports so many jobs and small businesses. We, together with our airport partners, are following the health guidelines of EASA and ECDC to ensure that our customers and their families can travel safely while minimising the risk of Covid-19.”

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